Raymond Charles (Ray) Arthur

Raymond Charles (Ray) Arthur, of Floyd, past away on Wednesday, September 5th, at Roanoke Memorial Hospital, with his loving family by his side.

Ray was born on February 4, 1929 in New Orleans, to Loretta Josephine Patterson and Lorenza James Arthur. At age 4, Ray and his mother moved to Huntington Station, NY to live with Clinton & Ann Patterson after the death of his father.

Ray attended St. Ann’s Academy in New York City (NY), and then entered the U.S. Navy in 1947. After training as a welder at Bainbridge, Maryland he served on the U.S.S. General Butler traveling through Panama then onto San Francisco where he was assigned to the U.S.S. Boxer CV 21. As a member of the 11th Fleet, Ray was sent on a tour of duty to the Aleutian Islands to search for mines and radioactive ships left behind after A-bomb testing in the Pacific Ocean. Shortly after the Korean War began, Ray intended to re-enlist but a family death influenced Ray’s decision to return to NY where he began working for Hazeltine Electronics in the aerospace program and took engineering courses at Farmingdale Institute of Technology. Later Ray had a 25-year career as Crew Chief, with American Airlines doing structural work on aircraft, mostly at Kennedy Airport but also at Houston and LaGuardia.

Ray would make Floyd his home, after tracking down a distant cousin Bethel Reinhardt, who lived there with her family. He traveled often to Long Island to visit his old friends and talked about moving back but his love of Floyd County was stronger than anyone ever imagined.

Ray was best regarded for his commitment to community service & steadfast democratic values. In 2000, The Floyd Press ran a story titled ‘Ray Arthur, He does a Lion’s share’, in which Wanda Combs outlined Ray’s extensive list of volunteer activities: Red Cross Blood mobile volunteer, active RSVP volunteer & occasional council member, Red Cross Penny Drive, fund raisers to support eye exams & glasses for low income families and as a member of the local VFW Ray would put up flags or yellow ribbons along the streets of Floyd during holidays. He also built furniture & assisted with the SHARE food program for New River Community Action, distributed prescription medications to low income families for the Free Clinic, was recognized as Lions Club Lion of the Year in ’98 and as Red Cross volunteer, when someone lost their house to fire, Ray may be best known for his determination in finding the displaced family a place to live including 7 Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Ray was always there for people in need.

Ray will be missed and remembered by the many he helped. He is survived by his children Lynn Arthur, Ray Ammirati and Robert Holdorf; granddaughters Caitlin, Savannah, Kassidy and Breyanna; long time companion Suzanne Brennan and close friend Laurence Wood.

The family would like to send their appreciation to the hard working nurses and staff at both Radford and Roanoke Carilion hospitals for the care they gave Dad.

A celebration of Ray’s life with military rites by Floyd VFW Post 7854 and American Legion Post 127 is scheduled for Saturday, September 15th, 3-6pm, before making the journey to his final resting place in New Orleans. All who knew Ray are welcome. Please RSVP by Thursday 9/13, to either 745-2100 or lynna27@gmail.com and details will be provided. If the weather is bad, an alternate date will be selected.

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